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painted backs 

A lovely client is currently having wall-to-wall bookshelves installed in her living room and after much contemplation, we've decided to paint the built-ins a crisp white and the beadboard backs the most beautiful shade of slate gray/blue.  One of the quickest, easiest and least expensive ways to make your bookshelves-and the objects that sit on them - really pop is to paint the backs a contrasting color.  Whether it's a bold hue or only a few shades darker than the trim, creating a contrast adds depth and lots of interest.  Here are some of the inspiration images that won over my client:

Love the soft turquoise in this living room by Lauren Leonard:

Jill from Forever Cottage painted the backs of her white built-ins Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze and they look amazing!  The dark charcoal brown actually acts as a neutral backdrop for her beautiful accessories and vintage books:

Emily Clark used the same color on her floor-to-ceiling bookshelves in her office:

Taupey-grey warms up this gorgeous, neutral living room by Munger Interiors:

Love this teal color, which is actually painted, interchangable foam core boards-a great way to easily change up your look:

Greige backs on these floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are super cozy in this small space via Cottage Living:

Cobalt blue adds a touch of whimsy to this kid's room:

Painted beadboard is such a subtle touch in this living room designed by Sarah Richardson, but it adds just the right amount of contrast to the gray built-ins and doesn't compete with the striped wall:

Benjamin Moore Peony brightens up office built-ins - love this shade of pink:

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Reader Comments (1)

Painting the insides of shelves would make it look better. This adds contrast and sets off the objects within. You can also cut pieces of fabric, wallpaper, or wrapping paper to fit and affix with glue or double-stick tape.

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